Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain
Women with endometriosis and pelvic pain come to Duke for our expertise in minimally invasive surgical treatment of endometriosis, pelvic pain, and abnormal uterine bleeding. Specialists in our gynecology program give you the personalized care you need to treat your condition and help you live a pain-free life.
Expert Care for Endometriosis and Pelvic Pain
Endometriosis causes the lining of your uterus to grow abnormally and triggers severe pain during your menstrual cycle and intercourse. If left untreated, it can lead to infertility. That’s why it’s important to diagnose endometriosis as soon as possible and develop an effective treatment plan, especially if you are in your childbearing years.
We understand that endometriosis can be devastating, especially if you are concerned about your fertility. We diagnose your condition quickly, and offer a range of options, from nonsurgical therapies to the latest minimally invasive surgical approaches to preserve your uterus. Our expertise in the minimally invasive surgical treatment of endometriosis -- also known as laparoscopic excision of endometriosis -- attracts patients here from across the country.
Choose Duke for your endometriosis and pelvic pain treatment because we offer:
- Pelvic pain experience. Our specialists regularly treat a high volume of patients with endometriosis and pelvic pain. This experience helps our doctors recognize the signs of endometriosis early on and develop the most effective treatment plan for you, drawing from our advanced therapies and surgical options.
- Advanced OR technology. Our operating rooms are equipped with high-definition scanning devices that take 3-D images of your pelvis and organs, which increase the precision of your surgical procedure. When appropriate, robotic equipment may be used during minimally invasive procedures which require smaller incisions. As a result, you experience less scarring, pain and bleeding, and may recover faster.
- Pain management specialists. Our doctors take a team approach to treatment for patients with persistent pelvic pain. This may involve the care of many providers, including your surgeon, physical therapists, and pain management specialist. It may also include a referral to our pain clinic.
- Organ-sparing approach. Our goal is to spare your reproductive organs and as much healthy tissue as possible. We will only perform a hysterectomy as a last resort. We understand that a diagnosis of endometriosis can be devastating to women in their childbearing years. We offer several nonsurgical medical therapies and the latest minimally invasive surgical options to preserve your uterus.
ENDOMETRIOSIS AND PELVIC PAIN
May be prescribed to treat pelvic pain or slow the growth of endometrial tissue. Hormone therapy can take different forms: oral contraceptives, sub-dermal implants, IUDs (intrauterine devices) or injections (Depo-Provera, Depo-Lupron). These options range from a daily pill to injections received 2-4 times a year. We tailor your hormone therapy regimen to your lifestyle and specific health needs.
We specialize in a laparoscopic (minimally invasive) surgical technique where endometriosis is either removed or destroyed using the most up to date methods. During the procedure, your doctor operates through tiny incisions in your abdomen using a long tube with a camera attached (laparoscope) and tiny instruments.
Our goal is to preserve your reproductive organs, especially if you are of childbearing age. We consider hysterectomy (surgical removal of the uterus) to be a last resort when other treatments fail. Our minimally invasive techniques make this procedure less painful and recovery easier.
ENDOMETRIOSIS AND PELVIC PAIN
In addition to a gynecological exam, your doctor may order one of the following tests:
A tiny camera inserted into your belly button allows your doctor to view the internal organs, the pelvis, and search for signs of endometriosis. When possible, our specialists perform “see and treat” laparoscopy, so we can diagnose and treat at the same time.
Ultrasound or MRI scans provide images of your uterus and reproductive organs. These tests cannot diagnose endometriosis, but they help your doctor see any effects or changes it causes.